FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifier LIVE updates: Socceroos v Saudi Arabia

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As I said, STAT

The definitive Socceroos-Saudi Arabia preview has lobbed

Feast your eyes on this, straight out of the oven from SMH football supremo Vince Rugari:

“First thing’s first: it’s very wet here. In fact there was a bit of a rumour going around the corporate do that I ducked into downstairs before kick-off that the Saudis were scrambling to find appropriate wet-weather footwear. I don’t know if that’s one player or the whole team but it may indicate some sort of panic about the conditions.

“The pitch looks immaculate but very slippery. The rain may not relent at all tonight and you’d think that’s advantage Australia – on top of the home crowd and the Socceroos’ incredible record in World Cup qualifiers here. A crowd of around 23-25,000 is expected and apparently Parramatta is absolutely pumping tonight. But there’s certainly a tension in the air that is inescapable.

“This game is so big for both teams. On the selection front, Graham Arnold has thrown a minor curveball. James Jeggo, who plays for Aris in the Greek top division, is playing in central midfield next to Jackson Irvine, which is a bit of a surprise. But then again, the Socceroos certainly do need a more defensively-minded player in the middle of the park and Jeggo fits that description. Rhyan Grant also gets the nod at right-back ahead of Fran Karacic. Mathew Leckie is the lone man up front.”

And the starting side for the Australians

A miserable night in Sydney

Our man Vince Rugari is on deck at the ground, his short and sharp preview is inbound. Meanwhile, feast your eyes…

And another fresh face

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